New building block for Helena’s art community
By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist
The Helena School of Art is planning its grand opening for Saturday, Sept. 7 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Welcome to a colorful space and studio where red accents pop off the black and white checkerboard floor, bright oversize poppies bloom and every wall brings the surprise of a different color. Class information and notes will be prominently posted on the large chalkboard.
“We are trying to keep up with all the little things involving opening a business. We want the space to be kid friendly and warm,” Shelly Bailey said.
“It’s important, too, to make my parents comfortable and know their child is safe and in competent hands.”
Shelly and Andy Bailey debated about which spaces in Helena’s Old Town area might accommodate their new idea for her art teaching studio and his Bug Life Exterminators office.
“We were praying about it and after we looked at this space (774 2nd Street below the former Carmella’s Ice) we felt ‘this is it.’ ”
Shelley has been teaching for 21 years, for the last seven years teaching art in public schools Thompson High and McAdory Elementary.
“We are very interested in building the art community and joining with other merchants already actively pursuing that,” said Bailey, who grew up in this area. She and Andy are parents of four children, ages 22, 18, 14 and 11.
“This is a perfect community for us and this is needed; awareness is the first step for planting the seed for supporting the arts. Arts integration in the classroom is the way to increase test scores. We are not just about finger painting and crayons anymore. We can teach children to tell time using art; to understand sequencing; to learn about the solar system using art.”
“The creative mind will always be needed. All it takes is progressive forward steps for growth to occur. They don’t have to be leaps. Baby steps are fine as long as they are occurring.”
Helena School of Art will offer afterschool art classes for children as well as painting classes for adults on the weekend. The facility will offer birthday parties, as well.
Please call 914-4409 for more information or to sign up. See the Helena School of Art FaceBook page for registration forms.